I saw someone claim, "No one can even define consumerism."

I disagree. Often, examples can show us the outline of a good definition.

There is the case, which I shared before, of the friend who commented that my new apartment had a lot of flights of stairs.

"It's good exercise," I responded.

"I'd rather get my exercise in other ways," he said. Ways, I happened to know, like paying for a gym membership so he could go there and use the gym's Stairmaster.

Or I know people who always buy bottled water for drinking. Even though their tap water is fine. And even though their bottled water turned out, on examination, to be bottled tap water.

We should only enjoy what is packaged and sold to us, never what is free.

The endpoint of consumerism: the self becomes another product. We try to figure out how to "market ourselves." We "create our brand."

Or as Bob Marley put it, in a "pimp's paradise," we can easily become just "stock on the shelf":

Pimper's paradise, don't lose track, don't lose track of yourself,
Pimper's paradise, don't be just a stock, a stock on the shelf


  1. I regularly see bottled Cincinnati tap water for sale at Kroger. I wonder whose tap water Kroger sells in Cinci.

    I have a certain admiration for some unnamed genius in Kroger's Cincinnati head office who stood at the sink one day ...


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